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‘Irreplaceable’: Trump reacts to death of Rush Limbaugh

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Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday reacted to the death of longtime conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh, saying that he was “irreplaceable.” The decades-long staple of talk radio passed away at the age of 70 on Wednesday after a battle with lung cancer.

Hopping onto Fox News over the phone to offer some words, the former president opened by talking about the controversial move to give Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the 2020 State of the Union, which Trump said was “a great honor.”

“Half the room went crazy” Trump said about when he gave Limbaugh the medal “and the other half of the room, they knew he should get it.”

“But it was special and he was special,” he added.

Asked by Fox News host Bill Hemmer about when he last spoke to Limbaugh, the former commander-in-chief said “three or four days ago.”

“His fight [against cancer] was very, very courageous and he was very, very sick and—from diagnosis on—it was just something that was just not going to be beaten, but you wouldn’t know it,” Trump said.

“He is married to an incredible woman, Kathryn, who really—every time I spoke to him, he would tell me how great she was—she took such great care.”

“He was very brave,” Trump continued. “I mean, he in theory could’ve been gone four months ago. Really, he was fighting till the very end. He was a fighter, he was a great gentleman.”

Hemmer then asked how Trump viewed the way Limbaugh chose to “carry on” his messages and chose to agree or disagree with his policies as president.

Not directly answering the question, Trump referenced Fox News host Sean Hannity, who was on the program before he came on, saying that “Sean would say ‘There is nobody like Rush.'”

The former president also called the late radio host “irreplaceable” and “unique”.

Trump went on to talk about Limbaugh’s show and his hosting style.

“He had an audience that was massive,” Trump said. “And, you know, he could do something […] and he would get up in the show and would just talk—he wouldn’t take phone calls where, you know, people would call in every two minutes and that’s sort of easy to do—he would just talk, for two hours and three hours, just talk. And that’s not an easy thing to do.

“I once asked him and said ‘Do you study for the show?’ and he said ‘Actually, I study very hard,'” Trump continued, joking that the revelation “a little bit surprised me.”

“But he was a fantastic man, fantastic talent, and people—whether they loved him or not—they respected him, they really did,” he said at the closing of his segment.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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REPORT: China has vast network of covert police stations around the world

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China has a vast network of covert police stations abroad, according to a recent report by Safeguard Defenders, an NGO that focuses on human rights violations in China and other Asian countries. These police stations serve consular functions, but are also used by China to crack down on what the CCP deems “illegal” activity of Chinese nationals abroad. The police stations include at least 38 run by the Fuzhou City police, and 22 run by the Qingtian City police. Cities housing these police stations include New York, Toronto (which has three stations), London (two), Paris (three), Buenos Aires, Rio De Janeiro, and Tokyo.

Key findings of the report are below.

“Persuaded to return”

According to China, China has “persuaded to return [to China]” 230,000 Chinese nationals living aboard from April 2021 to July 2022 alone to face charges of fraud and telecommunications fraud. A Yangxia police station set up in Mozambique, for example, persuaded a Chinese national to return to China after being accused of stealing money from his employer. Chinese authorities also put pressure on the accused family to convince the accused to surrender.

Roughly 54,000 Chinese nationals were persuaded to return from northern Myanmar alone, in the first nine months of 2021. In July 2022, the government of Wenchang City warned that its citizens living in northern Myanmar must check in with their local police stations or face multiple penalties including blocking their children from attending urban schools back in China. Similarly, in February 2022, the government of Liayang City stated that Chinese “illegally staying” in northern Myanmar must return or the bank accounts of their immediate family members could be frozen.

The Nine Forbidden Countries

China has claimed that nine countries contain serious levels of fraud and telecom fraud perpetrated by Chinese nationals. Since November 2021, China has declared that Chinese citizens living in these nine countries must return to China immediately unless they have an “emergency reason” or a “strict necessity” to travel or stay in those countries. Those countries are: Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, the UAE, and Turkey. However, the report questions whether these countries are truly awash in such fraud, as most of China’s oversees police stations are in the West, and only one of the nine countries (Cambodia) has such a police station. Chinese staying in the nine forbidden countries, as well as threats to family members as stated above, creates a “guilt-by-association” atmosphere intended to repatriate the Chinese nationals.

Conclusion

According to the report, Chinese police stations abroad serve to bypass “bilateral extradition treaties or other mechanisms of judicial cooperation” to cooperate with CCP-linked NGOs which effectively “[sets] up an alternative policing and judicial system within third countries.” Instead of using international judicial cooperation, which establishes due process, the presumption of innocence, and the right to a fair trial, China uses the above “persuade-to-return” methods and transnational police stations to circumvent international law and coerce Chinese nationals to return to China for trials. These policies show the power of China’s long-arm oppression over its own subjects.

You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic

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